Review of Gore Bike Wear Alp-X Pro Windstopper Soft Shell Shorts

Super comfy wind chill battlers. The Alp-X Pro Windstopper Soft Shell shorts make you realise how rubbish all your other shorts are.


These are not your typical baggy shorts. They’re a crazy colour. They’re cost quite a lot. They don’t have any pockets (well, apart from a dinky zipped one on the back). They don’t have a lot of… anything really.

So why do I think they’re fantastic?

The short answer is: the fabric

Those are my mucky shorts in the above pic. I haven’t worn any other baggy shorts during rides for the past couple of months.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t opt to have these green versions (test samples always come in funny colours). Don’t get me wrong, I like colour. But shorts is not the place for it. Thankfully the shorts are also available in black.


The principal things I like about the Gore Bike Wear Alp-X Windstopper Soft Shell shorts is the soft shell material and the shorts’ general minimalist design. You may be familiar with soft shell material on jerseys and jackets. The idea is the same here.

The material keeps you dry to a degree – showery rain and puddle splashes bead off nicely – but its main concern is keeping you warm. Warm even if you’re wet. Us cyclists know that it’s usually the wind that makes us cold more than anything. Soft shell Windstopper fabric stops wind chill.


The shorts aren’t thermal as such. They’re quite lightweight actually. So if you want extra warmth in cold temperatures then you can pair them with a suitably thermo or roubaix-style bib short or 3/4 tight underneath.

I’ve ridden with them on a couple of warm temperature rides (hey, it’s only April) and was impressed with how breathable and cool they were. I wouldn’t ride with them if the temperature really shot up but for the sort of temps we experience in the UK for most of the year, they’re fine.

Not all of the short is just soft shell. The use of what Gore describe as “abrasion resistant material” at inside leg and saddle area is there to bolster up those areas that see a lot of wear and tear and dirt grinding.

Shorts you can forget about

These shorts have made me hate all my other baggy shorts. I now just find all my other baggy shorts really annoying! My other shorts are heavy, droopy, noisy, faffy, flappy and all have bunching problems at the front fly area. They all get even more annoying when they’re wet.


With the Alp-X shorts I just pull them on, cinch them slightly with the front inner pull-cord and then just leave them alone for the rest of the ride. I forget about them.

The lack of any buckles, press studs, cinch tabs or zip fly is great. So simple. So comfy. The waistband is ‘impregnated’ with grippy material which does a fine job of keeping the shorts where you put them. The light weight and stretchy nature of the material mean the shorts don’t suffer from gravity pulling them down anyway really.


The price of pockets

I will confess to occasionally wishing that they had hand pockets on them. It is handy to have somewhere to temporarily stash gloves or money for a couple of mins while you have a rest somewhere. But having said that, I also realise that it’s the lack of pocket bulk and the multi-layer fabric thickness that comes with them that helps make these shorts so comfy whilst riding. I can – and will – live without hand pockets in exchange for the benefits felt elsewhere. I’m slowly getting used to using the modest back pocket for such temporary stowage – I just keep forgetting there’s a pocket back there.


Despite their fitted tailoring they mate well with knee pads. The hems don’t catch or snag on the top of my knee pads. There’s a clever panel of slippy shiny fabric on the inside front of the hems that helps the short to glide over knee pads during movement. Cunning.


The 14″ in-seam length may be a teensy bit on the short side if you have long legs and you want a short to cover your whole knee down your shin. But if you’ve got standard issue legs, or you usually wear knee pads, then I think the length is bob on.

Any niggles? Well, they’re a hundred quid (or thereabouts) so they not going to win any prizes for cheapness. I probably wouldn’t have paid that for them before I used them but I’d certainly now recommend going that extra mile to have these unique shorts in your armoury. Get the black ones though eh?


Overall verdict

Super comfy wind chill battlers. The Alp-X Pro Windstopper Soft Shell shorts make you realise how rubbish all your other shorts are.


Gore Bike Wear Alp-X Pro Windstopper Soft Shell Cycling Shorts

  • £109.99 at Merlin Cycles
  • Robust grippy zipper puller
  • Concealed back zip pocket
  • Grippy insert at the waistband
  • Abrasion resistant material at inside leg and saddle area
  • Inseam length 36.5 cm / 14 inches
  • Adjustable elastic waistband with flat cord
  • Frictionless tape inside front hem
  • Reflective logo on front and back
  • Main Fabric: 87% Polyester, 13% Elastane,
  • Windstopper®Membrane,
  • Shell Inside: 100% Polyester, Insert: 94% Polyamide, 6% Elastane,
  • Windstopper®Membrane,
  • Shell Inside: 100% Polyester

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